New checkpoint security equipment coming to airport

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has completed installation of a new state-of-the-art advanced technology Computed Tomography (CT) checkpoint carry-on baggage scanner at the Southwest Wyoming Regional Airport (RKS).

This equipment is similar to what is used to scan checked baggage for explosive devices. It has been "sized" to fit at checkpoints to create such a clear image of a bag's contents that the system can automatically detect explosives, including liquids, by shooting hundreds of images with an X-ray camera spinning around the conveyor belt to provide TSA officers with the three-dimensional views of the contents of a carry-on bag. The new equipment will offer improved detection capabilities and greater passenger convenience by allowing laptops, electronics such as cell phones and iPads, and 3-1-1 compliant liquids to remain in carry-on bags. This new technology will also reduce the need for secondary bag checks as a result of the better images showing the contents of the bag made available to TSA officers.

However, to comply with operating requirements of the CT scanner system, every carry-on item must be placed in a bin for screening, and items cannot be placed directly on the X-ray belt. Oversized bags can no longer be accommodated through the smaller opening to the X-ray tunnel on the CT unit. With this operating imitation, passengers will no longer be able to bring larger than airline authorized carry-on size bags through the checkpoint for the airline to gate check them. If passengers are checking bags, they will need to do so at the airline counter, which closes for checking bags 45-minutes prior to scheduled departure.

"RKS is pleased to welcome the latest screening technology to our checkpoint. With safety and security paramount to all that we do, we are not only excited about the passenger convenience improvement, but also the enhanced security posture this new equipment brings," said Airport Director Devon Brubaker. "This new equipment further strengthens RKS's role as Southwest Wyoming's most convenient air travel solution. With new flight option returning in May, this new equipment arrives just in time for the busy summer travel season."

RKS reminds passengers that they can take other steps to get through the checkpoint quickly and efficiently:

- Pack smart. Start with empty bags. Airline passengers who pack for travel with empty bags are less likely to bring prohibited items through a TSA checkpoint. Technology and modifications help reduce the need for physical contact with TSA officers, but those who take time to come prepared for the TSA checkpoint are far more likely to avoid delay and physical contact. Check for prohibited items by using the "What Can I Bring?" page on TSA.gov.

- Know before you go. Airports, like highways, have high traffic surges and construction delays. Plan to arrive at the airport in plenty of time to check in, check bags and complete security screening in time to avoid stressful sprints to the departure gate. At the TSA checkpoint, have a valid ID card readily available and follow the liquids rule of 3.4 ounces or less, with the exception of hand sanitizer, which has a temporary 12-ounce limit in carry-on baggage.

 

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